Old rules don't always apply to the new ways of staying in touch. With polite, efficient conversation as the goal, consider these tips:

• Texting? Keep it short. Text. Repeat. Teens say a paragraph-long text is a clear sign of Grandma gone digital.


• That brevity is sometimes a good reason to pick texting over talking. Want to quickly tell that friend who prattles on and on that dinner will be ready at 5? Digital delivery is your friend.

• A message sent instead of spoken lets people respond when they have a second. Calling a cellphone during the workday increasingly signals interruption or emergency.

• No response? It's probably not a snub. Maybe your friend didn't see the e-mail, text or tweet. Really, who can keep up with all this stuff anyway?